Posted by: colegrove | Saturday 7 March 2009

Seek Knowledge and Wisdom

Truth

Dr. Norman W. Walker 1867/1886-1985

Dr. Norman W. Walker c.1867-1985

A hero of mine once said,

Our fundamental object and goal in life should be to gain vast and abundant knowledge, and learn to apply it intelligently.  Of what value is life, let alone longevity, unless we live it intelligently?

Francis Bacon 1561-1626

Francis Bacon 1561-1626

That was Dr. Norman W. Walker.  He was a natural health pioneer who died in 1985.  He lived to be at least 99 years old, according to Wikipedia he was born in 1886, but there are other sources that list him being born years before that.  In any case, his words are reminiscent of those of the Elizabethan philosopher, scientist, and politician, Sir Francis Bacon:

Knowledge is power.

Truth, Information, Knowledge, Wisdom, and Understanding.  All those words have completely different definitions but all are intertwined within each other and work together in a type of synthesis.  The Bible says a lot about wisdom:

wisdom A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels…The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction…How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge? For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding…Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil…Forsake her not, and she shall preserve thee: love her, and she shall keep thee. Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding….If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.”

Proverbs 1:5, 1:7, 1:22, 2:6, 3:7, 4:6-7; James 1:5-6

An entertainment culture has replaced a culture striving for knowledge, wisdom, and excellence.

redmen football vs vert et or sheerbrokeWe have become inundated with sex, drugs, and rock and roll.  No pun intended.  Instead of reading, learning, experiencing, and growing, with each passing decade we find ourselves sitting in front of a television, a movie theater screen, at a football game, a music concert.  The world around us has little use for wisdom, instead entertainment is the god of this new age.  Entertainment that, in and of itself if used in moderation, is not bad, is now front and center in our quest for happiness and meaning in life.  This entertainment is a sham.  We are saturated with it.  Reality is becoming an illusion.

Britney Spears

Britney Spears

We are constantly seeking something more.  Something we can feel.  Movies make us feel like we are in them.  Certain types of music make us feel very emotional.  Drugs give us “highs”.  Even in the sphere of religion there are mystical elements that have been brought to the surface in each faith – seeking some higher EXPERIENCE.  A normal personal faith is experiential, by its very personal nature;  But this type of system wants more: visions, “highs”, and other stimulants.  Isamili Muslims, Charismatic Christians, etc. can get carried away by emotions and start barking like a dog instead of turning to the words of God with reason and experience – not excess.  Even most modern speakers of tongues (in the same exact way that voodoo shamans do, and they claim it is the Spirit of God – umm… the same god of the voodoo priests?).  This fleshly desire stems out of a natural basis in our God-given emotions.  But it is also predominately a need to seek worldly and fleshly experiences.

But I really diverge from our topic…

druggiesWhen we become fully dumbned down to the level where our world revolves around finding out if Britney Spears is wearing underwear in public, or how much pornography we can collect, or what the latest designer fashions are, then how will we ever know if the freedom we now enjoy will have turned to totalitarianism until it is too late?  Those in high places know how to shape our minds with the music and entertainment we fill our lives with.  Dr. Stanley Monteith, at the beginning of each segment of his radio broadcast, “Radio Liberty”, he begins with this quote:

Dr. Stan

Dr. Stan

Reality is usually scoffed at, illusion is usually king, but in the battle for the survival of western civilization it  will be reality and not illusion or delusion that will determine what the future will bring.”

There is nothing necessarily wrong with football, television, even dancing or fashion.  The issue is that entertainment has become not just a way to pass some well earned time off, but life itself.  We live it, breath it, and live for it at times.  It has taken the place of learning.  How do I know this?  When people can’t name the first president of the United States, when people know more about American Idol than they do about what is going on in the world… that shows a lack of something, I’d say!

I’ve found myself in situations where there were trivia games played.  One time, a question was asked, “During the Civil War, who were the Yankees, also known as the North, fighting?”.  The simple answer would naturally be either “the south”, or “the Confederates”.  One of the players in the game had a puzzled look and said, “wasn’t that the communists or Russia or something?”  My jaw dropped.  She was serious.

Another time, I overheard someone confused when they went to an Asian Restaurant and found Chinese food there.  I had to explain that China is a country in Asia.

AMERICA – DUMBER NOW THAN THE LAST CENTURY?

educationAll this begs the question: Are American’s smarter or are they actually less intelligent that they were three generations ago?  “No”, one might say.  “We have so many advancements!”  Actually those very advancements were thought up by singular individuals, and none but elite experts in each field really can make those very inventions work to our advantage if civilization were to collapse around us.   In the past 40 years the Department of Education has had to “dumb down”, if you will, the SAT and ACT questions, because American student’s scores were dropping so low.  Crazy, eh?

The website entitled “Maggie’s Farm” has a posting that shows an 8th Grade Final Exam from Salina, Kansas in 1895.  A quick look at the questions reminds us how far we’ve fallen educationally in the past 109 years.   The link: http://maggiesfarm.anotherdotcom.com/archives/2333-American-Education,-1895.html

Examples of Questions:

  • Name the Parts of Speech and define those that have no modifications.
  • Write a composition of about 150 words and show therein that you understand the practical use of the rules of grammar.
  • Find the interest of $512.60 for 8 months and 18 days at 7 percent.
  • District No. 33 has a valuation of $35,000. What is the necessary levy to carry on a school seven months at $50 per month, and have $104 for incidentals?
  • Write a Bank Check, a Promissory Note, and a Receipt.
  • Relate the causes and results of the Revolutionary War.
  • Who were the following: Morse, Whitney, Fulton, Bell, Lincoln, Penn, and Howe?
  • Name events connected with the following dates: 1607, 1620, 1800, 1849, and 1865?
  • What is meant by the following: Alphabet, phonetic orthography, etymology, syllabication?
  • What are the following, and give examples of each: Trigraph, subvocals, diphthong, cognate letters, linguals?
  • Mark diacritically and divide into syllables the following, and name the sign that indicates the sound: Card, ball, mercy, sir, odd, cell, rise, blood, fare, last.
  • Name all the republics of Europe and give capital of each.
  • What is climate? Upon what does climate depend?
  • Why is the Atlantic Coast colder than the Pacific in the same latitude?

21660Those were just SOME of the questions one needed to complete in order to pass the grade and move into the next.  All have practical applications.  Most are over our heads – even mine.  Some questions seem like they would be college-aged questions, or at least senior high school, not middle school!  Oh, America!  How far we’ve fallen!  One may ask, are these questions relevant today?  True, some occupations people may be employed in do not need to know the interest of a certain amount of money ‘for 8 months and 18 days at 7 percent‘.  However, most of the questions when you strip away the confusion, are actually important to know for common sense sake.  Otherwise, one may not know China is in Asia and may have no comprehension of the difference between the Cold War and the Civil War, in my literal true examples above.  Did you know that some family members of soldier who have went to Iraq have no conception of where in the world Iraq is?!  Now that is scary!  No wonder government can get away with things they wouldn’t have been able to 100 years ago!

MUSIC’S EFFECT ON THE MIND

mozartmozartDoes music also have an effect on our minds?  Yes!  Do a quick search on the controversial “Mozart Effect” and the research that shows the patterns in music can effect our mind and how we learn.  Classical and Baroque music seem to have the patterns that encourage temporal-spatial reasoning.   This is a positive effect. King David of the ancient Hebrews knew first hand the power of music and vibrations – how they can at times soothe a troubled soul, as he played the harp for his troubled predecessor, King Saul.

There are negative ways music can affect us as well.  Some types of music can put us in a state that comes close to being called “altered state of consciousness” or a light trance.  Many beats have the ability to put us in different moods, especially to “pump” us up, such as before a football game.  The same beats as can be found in tribal societies as they prepare for war against neighboring tribes.  During trances, the mind is the most susceptible to suggestions from other sources.  Psychologists and corporations utilize music for experiments and to being profits for their products.   Then there is the controversy surrounding backward masking, an idea thought up by the occultist Aleister Crowley (speaking backwards, etc.).  Some say that words that are either barely audible or are placed at near silent wavelengths can still effect the mind.

education1According to this November 2008 article: http://www.cnsnews.com/public/Content/Article.aspx?rsrcid=39715 – more American’s know that Paula Abdul is a host of American Idol than they know that the phrase “government of the people, by the people, for the people” comes from Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.

  • Less than half of Americans can name all three branches of government
  • Only 27% of Americans and a whopping 79% of elected officials know the Bill of Rights prohibits the government from establishing an official religion
  • 54% do not know that the Constitution gives Congress the power to declare war, NOT the President
  • Only 32% of politicians can actually define what the free enterprise system is, even though most campaigned for office pledging to defend it
  • Many do not know who the major political participants of World War II were

FIRST – GET MAD!

This reminds me of the clip from the 1976 movie “Network“.  I have never seen the full movie, but this clip speaks volumes.  I apologize about his use of a few profanity words, but listen to what he has to say about the “tele” and the real world.

A LITTLE GIRL SHOWS THE HUMAN POTENTIAL FOR LEARNING

Then there is this amazingly bright 2-year old girl, “Lilly”, who is about to enter a world filled with the darkness of ignorance.  May she be a bright light to it.

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Responses

  1. wow

  2. Seriously? You think The U.S. is less intelligent?

    The fact is there is a significant difference between the education of America of 100 years ago. America is much more educated than it was then.
    Here is the best way to explain it.

    One-hundred years ago how many slaves were allowed to have an education? How many public school systems were there? If your father was a farmer, what was the percentage chance that you would graduate high school?

    The point, my friend, is that then, education was rare. Those who were educated were educated to the extreme. However, that does not mean that the least educated of today should have a more refined mind than one of the brightest from a century ago. It simply means that The least educated of our age would be incredibly smarter than the least educated of one who lived in the late 19th or early 20th centuries.

    I applaud your exhortation to strive for a higher education, however you must not disrespect how much we have already achieved.

  3. I came across your site, and one of your pictures would work great for my college presentation on wisdom. The picture I would like to use is the statue thinking. I will give you full credit. Thank you

  4. Great article!

    However, it is unfortunate that in our country not many people will care about such things.

  5. hello.my name is Anahita . I am from IRAN . I like sound of VIOLON.Ok.Bye the way.


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